Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Living in the End Times

Because I was either too young when it was a thing or perhaps I went to the wrong sort of church, I hadn't heard about the proto-Left Behind movie A Thief in the Night (72).
And wow, it's fascinating.
It's best described as a non-secular drive-in movie.
Hippies discuss pop theology in a manner to make it accessible to the younger generation, focusing on primarily on the Rapture, the Anti-Christ, and the Number of the Beast, and since it's meant to be didactic, it's not very subtle- right after a minister mentions the serpent in a sermon, a veterinarian is bitten by a cobra at the zoo, but he's save by a blood transfusion.

But it's not meant for an unbeliever.   The target audience was church youth groups- much of the stuff about it online is how people remember watching the film in church basements and church halls, serving as a basis for discussion.

Viewed objectively, it's slow- it takes forty of the sixty-nine minutes to get to the Rapture.  Once that happens, it picks up exponentially- the UN takes over, the mark becomes mandatory, and the protagonist, Patty, is on the run from the white vans and helicopters of UNITE (United Nations Imperium of Total Emergency).

Because of it's lack of polish and earnestness of the cast- it was filmed in Iowa (IOWA!)- it's actually more enjoyable than Left Behind - the real one starring Kirk Cameron, not the remake with Nicholas Cage.  I can't bring myself to watch the remake.